(670 The Score) Since he was a young kid growing up in northeastern Ohio, Mitchell Trubisky has strived to become a great quarterback.
He watched the game's elite quarterbacks as a kid and dreamed of that success. He worked -- and worked and worked -- toward his NFL goal and found that opportunity when the Bears selected him at No. 2 overall in the 2017 draft. But it hasn't come easy since.
Trubisky, 26, faced an uncertain football future this past offseason. The Bears brought in competition by trading for veteran quarterback Nick Foles and declined Trubisky's fifth-year option, meaning nothing was guaranteed past 2020.
While it wasn't the path Trubisky envisioned, he chose to embrace it. Ultimately, he earned the opportunity to continue on as the Bears' starting quarterback, as he was named to that position in a meeting with coach Matt Nagy on Friday evening.
"I truly believe that it was part of my journey," Trubisky said. "Something I had to deal with to get better.
"I just accepted it as a challenge. It really pushed me every day."
In being traded to Chicago back in March, Foles agreed to a restructured contract -- which was a key sticking point for the Bears and Jaguars to reach a deal. Foles understood the challenge of competing for a starting job as the coronavirus was set to alter the offseason and preseason schedule. He also recognized an earnest competitor in Trubisky.
The Bears' quarterback competition ended up being conducted over just 16 practices in August as the usual preseason schedule was drastically altered by the pandemic. There were far fewer snaps to be shared between Trubisky and Foles. There were no preseason games for the two to showcase themselves. Everything about the competition was reshaped by the circumstances.
Through it all, Nagy and the Bears believed they conducted a fair competition and felt confident in the progress Trubisky was revealing. Nagy saw an improved pocket presence, cleaner footwork and more concise accuracy from Trubisky. Nagy watched Trubisky make better decisions and showcase greater command.
Nagy was sold on Trubisky despite his past history and comfort with Foles.
"Mitchell's been through some stuff now," Nagy said. "He's had an interesting first three years of his career. At the end of (2019), it was a tough year for us this year. Then, all of a sudden then, 'Hey, by the way, we're going to make a trade for a quarterback that happened to be a Super Bowl MVP.' And then, 'By the way, we're not going to do your fifth year option, right?' There's a lot of stuff, that's not easy.
"He's kind of got this laser focus going on right now. He's not letting a lot of stuff derail him one way or the other, and that's a credit to him because he's worked for that."
The Nagy-Foles relationship dates back to 2012 and has included many honest conversations over the years. Foles contemplated retirement in 2016 before arriving in Kansas City and being dropped off at the home of Nagy, who was then the Chiefs' offensive coordinator. Foles and Nagy shared with one another what drives them in football -- their families. They established a connection, and Foles found his passion for the game again.
On Friday, the 31-year-old Foles and Nagy met once again for an hour-and-a-half-long conversation in which Nagy informed Foles that he would be the Bears' backup quarterback. Nagy made the final decision, and Foles accepted it. But Foles wanted to take it a step further.
Foles called Trubisky upon learning the news and congratulated his teammate, then offered to help set up a schedule for the quarterbacks' preparation to play the Lions in the opener next Sunday.
"Whatever it is, I look forward to helping him in any way possible," Foles said. "That's the thing I really enjoy about the game, is helping other players out."
Trubisky was impressed by the call from Foles, texting Nagy late Friday night remarking of his teammate's goodwill.
"I mean, he's just a special person," Nagy said of Foles.
Trubisky has torn up the Lions team that he's set to face next Sunday. He has completed 70% of his passes and is averaging 271.8 yards per game against the Lions in five career starts against them, throwing for 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. Chicago has won its last three games that Trubisky has started against Detroit.
That didn't play a factor in naming Trubisky the starter, Nagy said, but it certainly could set Trubisky on a path toward a stronger season in 2020. It's what Nagy believes will come from naming him the starter.
And in Trubisky's mind, this could be a new beginning for his aspirations.
"I control my own destiny," Trubisky said. "I'm definitely not going to take this opportunity for granted."
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.